Marketing legal services: doing things you don’t want to do


Conventional wisdom says that success lies outside of your comfort zone. If you want something you don’t have, you have to change what you are doing and this will probably be uncomfortable, as is anything new. Over time, you will become comfortable with your new activities and you may actually enjoy them.

But then, you will have a new comfort zone. To get to the next level in your growth, you will once again need to go beyond your comfort zone into new territory.

Success, therefore, requires continually being uncomfortable.

This is what we are told, but is it true?

Let’s take marketing for example. Let’s say you really don’t like networking. You’re shy, you don’t like being away from your family, you’re not a “people person”. Whatever. You just don’t like it.

But networking is a proven way for attorneys to build their practices. So what if you don’t like it, there are lots of things we have to do in life that we would rather not do. Shouldn’t you just get out of your comfort zone and do it anyway?


If you tried it and truly don’t like it. . . you don’t like it. Don’t do it.

There are other ways to bring in clients. You don’t have to continue to do things that make you uncomfortable, you can do something else.

Ultimately, success lies inside your comfort zone.

When you like something, you’ll continue doing it. The more you do it, the better you get at it. The better you get, the more successful you will be and the more you will enjoy doing it. And the cycle will continue.

In contrast, when you force yourself to do something you despise, you are miserable. You’ll find ways to avoid going to your networking event, even to the extent of getting sick. You won’t get better at it and your lack of results will only frustrate you and make you hate it even more.

Doing what you enjoy doing is the recipe for success.

Don’t fight how you feel, don’t try to talk yourself into it, and don’t do it because you think you must.

There, did I just hear a big sigh of relief from you?

Good. I’m glad I could help. Just don’t be too quick in deciding what is and what isn’t inside your comfort zone.

Often, we decide we don’t like something based on too little information. Sometimes, we never try at all, basing our opinion on what we’ve heard from others or what we imagine. Sometimes, we try it once, have a bad experience, and never try again.

Don’t give up too soon and don’t assume that when you try something and it is uncomfortable, it will always be so.

Give it a fair try. Study and learn how to do it better. Find mentors who can counsel you. Give the new experience enough time for the newness to rub off.

If it really isn’t your cup of tea, relax, you don’t have to do it. On the other hand, you might discover some things you thought you hated that you’re actually quite good at and now enjoy.

My wife and I grew up with dogs in the house. Cats? Not for us. We don’t like them. All that changed when our daughter was young and wanted a pet but nobody wanted to walk a dog. So we got a cat. Then another.

We gave them a chance and today, Seamus and Andre are like members of the family. That’s Andre in the photo with me, sharing some love with his daddy.



  1. Clint Kelley says

    I started my practice getting referrals from other lawyers of persoanl injury cases that they did not want. These cases were small and less valuable. That was in my comfort zone, and I operated my practice for many years in this zone.

    However, as the competition increased and economy tanked a time or two, there were fewer and fewer cases that other lawyers did not want; they were actually keeping more of their smaller cases instead of referring them to me because the economy tanked and they needed the money. I had to step outside my comfort zone.

    I thought that if lawyers were keeping smaller cases and working them and turning their dollars faster in this economy, then maybe they were interested in referring larger more complicated cases that took longer to resolve. I tried this approach and I got lucky on a persoanl injury case that another lawyer did not want because it was too complicated and risky – he thought. Yes, I was very uncomfortable with that case, but I risked the biscuit and it worked out.

    Since then, I have been retained on a few more potentially bigger cases that other lawyers have turned down. I am still uncomfortable, but I am working on it. There is merit in expanding your comfort zone and I am hopeful that I am moving in the right direction. Your blog and comments are always a beacon to light my way.

    • @Clint, it sounds like you are comfortable with your uncomfortableness. Either that, or the money is too good to pass up!

      Thanks again for another of your thoughtful comments and kind words.